This flavorful Pressure Cooker Steak Fajitas recipe is perfect for the whole family on busy weeknights. Serve family-style to encourage your child to eat a wider variety of foods.
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It's What's for Dinner, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
Living in Texas, life without Tex-Mex fajitas is not acceptable. And when we go to our fave restaurants, we don’t need to look at the menu.
98% of the time, we order combination fajita plate, served with rice, beans, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and cheese.
However, now that we have two kids, dining out can feel like work. Weeknights are busy, and it can be tricky to find meals that the whole family can enjoy. Luckily, I have the perfect solution.
Making homemade, pressure cooker steak fajitas is SUPER easy! And, you have full control over the ingredients and the sodium content, which are important factors to consider when serving early eaters.
Reasons to love this baby-friendly recipe!
- Every bite counts during the early years. Tiny tummies and picky eating mean it’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods, like beef. Not only does beef provide essential nutrients for healthy growth and development, but it can be shredded, chopped, ground and sliced to the right size and a safe texture for your child.
- It’s a super EASY recipe and quick to make even on your busiest day.
- One meal for everyone! You may need to make slight modifications for serving beef in an age-appropriate way.
- A great meal to serve family-style! Everyone can build their own fajita with their favorite toppings.
The star ingredient is obviously the Flank Steak. You can also use Sirloin or Skirt Steak. They are all leaner cuts with some marbling, which will help keep them juicy and flavorful.
- Start by slicing the Flank Steak into thin pieces (slightly larger than the width of your thumb). Season the meat.
- Add to the pressure cooker in small batches with oil to brown the steak. Add the broth and scrape bits of beef and spices from the bottom of the pot. Time to pressure cook.
- Add the onions on top. Lock the lid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 4 minutes. Release the vent and allow to depressurize before removing the lid.
- Add bell peppers, replace the lid, and steam for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. I like to use a combination of peppers for color and variety. Feel free to use whatever you wish. Serve on warm tortillas, over any cooked grain, or enjoy as a lettuce wrap.
Tips for Success
- Cook beef until temperature reaches 155-165°F for medium-well steak.
- Be sure to cut the steak into thin strips and against the grain! I like to place in the freezer for 15 minutes or so before slicing so that it's easier to get thin cuts, just like with bulgogi.
- Add the steak in batches so it will get a nice sear and flavor. Otherwise it will steam if crowded. Don’t skip this step. It will help the steak to hold its texture better.
- Be sure to scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pot to prevent getting a burn notice.
- There will be some liquid left in the pot after everything gets cooked. Don't toss it! Instead, store with any leftover steak to keep it juicy. You can also save and pour over rice, cooked veggies, etc.
How to adapt the recipe for babies
This recipe works perfectly to accommodate a baby-led weaning feeding style. The star ingredient of this meal, steak, will cook to be the perfect tender texture for babies.
Just be sure to serve them thicker, log-shaped slices of meat that are about 2 inches in length, and about the width of a thumb. Infants can follow this feeding style starting around 6 months of age, as they show signs of readiness for starting solids.
While they won’t be able to chew and swallow the meat in these first few months of starting solids (~6-9 months), they will suck on the juices, which can provide some dietary iron.
Learn more about how to safely prepare and introduce beef to your infant or toddler. As for the bell peppers, they must be cooked super soft and sliced into the right size for babies. To achieve this, first slice several bell peppers into thick strips to make them easier for babies to grab.
Like with the steak, aim for about 2 inches in length, and about the width of a thumb. Then add them to the recipe alongside the onions and pressure cook.
For older children and adults, I recommend adding thinly sliced peppers AFTER pressure cooking so that there will still be a little bit of bite to them. Cook them for about 5 minutes on the steam setting and they will be perfect!
Is your baby 6 months old and up?
Learn all the secrets to starting solids safely while optimizing nutrition!
Fajitas topping suggestions
Fajita nights are so fun because of the assortment of toppings! It's also a great meal to serve family-style, which I am a big advocate of!
Here are some of our favorite add-ins:
- Guacamole or avocado slices
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Refried, pinto or black beans
- Mexican rice
Be mindful that not all of these toppings will be appropriate for your baby, depending on their age.
Around 6 Months
When your baby is 6 months, they may be ready to make the transition to smooth, pureed, single-ingredients foods such as pureed beef with its juices, pureed beans, Greek yogurt, and smashed avocado.
6 - 8 Months
In this stage your baby may be ready to transition to mashed, lumpy texture foods and combinations of single-ingredient foods. If you’re using a baby-led weaning method, serve strips of tender beef fajitas and soft bell peppers the length of your index finger and width of your thumb.
8 - 10 Months
During this age your baby can transition to chopped table foods that they can pick up with their fingers and chew. Make sure beef is tender and moist to help prevent choking.
And, always remember if you have questions about starting solid foods, consult a physician or health care provider.
Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas
If you don't have a pressure cooker or want to dump everything into the slow cooker in the morning and return home to a ready-to-enjoy meal, here's what to do:
Add 1 cup (8 ounce) low sodium or no-salt-added diced tomatoes or salsa to the recipe. Cook everything on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.
How to make over the stovetop
This recipe could also be adapted to cook on a stovetop. Here’s how you can make this fajita recipe without a pressure cooker or slow cooker:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 6-8 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the seasoned steak and cook on both sides
- Add the vegetables back into the skillet and give everything a good stir.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fajitas will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You need to add some liquid for the pressure to build up without getting a burn notice. The onions will release some juices as well. Don't toss out the excess liquid though! Store it with the leftovers to keep the steak juicy. You can also pour over rice, cooked veggies, etc.
In fact, what I would highly encourage you to do is double the ingredients, slice everything, coat the steak in seasoning, and transfer half of the steak and vegetables to a freezer bag. Now you have a quick meal that you can simply thaw in the fridge the night before, add to the pressure cooker, and enjoy!
How to serve to babies and toddlers
For babies, here's how to modify the steak size depending on their age and eating skills.
Again, I highly encourage you to enjoy this meal family-style by placing the fajitas and all the toppings at the center of the table and allowing your child to serve themselves.
If your child is under 2 years old, place small amounts of everything on their plate and let them decide what and how much to eat.
For older toddlers and children, fully allow them to serve themselves! As you can see in the image, my toddler went crazy with the cheese. But that's ok! It's their job to decide what and how much to eat.
If you are struggling to get your child to eat meat or any new food, click below for my TOP tips!
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
This post was originally published in 2013, when this blog was a fun hobby of mine, and my focus wasn’t on infant and toddler nutrition. I modified this to make it baby and kid-friendly! Hope you enjoy!
Pressure Cooker Steak Fajitas
- 1 pound Flank Steak (see note)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ cup no-salt-added or low-sodium beef broth (see note)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced (not too thin)
- 3 bell peppers (see note)
- Add-ins: guacamole, salsa, cheese, beans, rice, lime, etc.
- Slice the beef thinly against the grain. Place in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, seasonings, and garlic. Add to beef and toss until well-coated.
- Set instant pot to saute function. Add oil and beef and saute for about 2-3 minutes, working in batches until just barely browned. Hit CANCEL.
- Add stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot completely to avoid getting a burn notice.
- Add onion. Do not stir. Add thick strips of bell peppers for baby. Close lid and set valve to sealing pressure. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Note: it will take about 7-8 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once it beeps, quick release by turning the vent to venting position.
- Quickly remove the bell peppers (they will be very soft at this point). The IP setting should automatically be at "keep warm." Add the thinly sliced bell peppers. Place the lid on IP (no need to lock it in). The vegetables will continue to steam from residual heat.